Rabies

Rabies is a very serious viral disease which is spread to humans from infected animals’ saliva.

In countries where rabies is common, dogs, cats, monkeys and bats usually carry the disease, but bites from all mammals can be dangerous.2,3  Children are at greater risk because they are more likely to play with animals and may not tell people they have been bitten or scratched.1

If someone has been infected rabies symptoms usually take 1-3 months to develop, but this incubation period can vary.3  The early symptoms include fever, headache and being generally unwell.1  As the disease advances symptoms like hallucinations, fear of water and paralysis develop, and often results in death.1

Travellers to high-risk regions are recommended to avoid close contact with domestic and wild animals.

Speak to your doctor at least 6-8 weeks before you travel5 to get the most up-to-date information about what rabies vaccinations and medications you will need.

Rabies is present worldwide; however canine rabies from dogs is common in Asian, African and Central and South American countries.2,3

Rabies FAQs

  • Rabies - What is it?

    Rabies is a very serious viral disease which is spread to humans from infected animals’ saliva. The rabies virus (genus Lyssavirus) infects domestic and wild animals. Infected animals can spread the disease to people through bites and scratches. 1,2  In humans the rabies virus doesn’t enter the bloodstream,  it infects the nervous system.3  Rabies is present worldwide; however  canine rabies from dogs is common in Asian, African and Central and South American countries.2,3

  • Rabies - How is it spread?

    In countries where rabies is common, dogs, cats, monkeys and bats usually carry the disease, but bites from all mammals can be dangerous.2,3  The risk of infection is considered higher in those who are more likely to be exposed to such animals especially travellers spending long periods of time outdoors or cavers who are camping in the same caves as bats.  Children are at greater risk because they are more likely to play with animals and may not tell people they have been bitten or scratched.1

  • Rabies - What are the symptoms?

    If someone has been infected rabies symptoms usually take 1-3 months to develop, but this incubation period can vary.3  If an infected animal bites a part of the body that has a rich supply of nerves like the face, neck and finger, symptoms are likely to develop more quickly.3  The early symptoms include fever, headache and being generally unwell.1  As the disease advances symptoms like hallucinations, fear of water and paralysis develop, and often results in death. 1

  • Rabies - How can it be prevented?

    Travellers to high-risk regions are recommended to avoid close contact with domestic and wild animals. If you get bitten or scratched you should clean the wound immediately and see a doctor as soon as possible.1  New Zealand health authorities recommend immunisation against rabies for all travellers visiting remote or rural regions in high-risk countries who may be at risk of mammal bites (particularly dog, cat, monkey or bat).4  Speak to your doctor at least 6-8 weeks before you travel to get the most up-to-date information about what rabies vaccinations and medications you will need.5

? Did you know

A Quick Question…

You are leaving the GlaxoSmithKline New Zealand website.

Links to other websites are inserted for your convenience and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service. Any information provided by this source should be discussed with your healthcare professional and does not replace their advice.

Downloading App Data

Please wait while, the cache is populated

0%